Make your own free website on Tripod.com
The Tennessee Public Records Act, T.C.A. 10-7-503 (a), was designed so that citizens of the
state of Tennessee would have a viable means to investigate the actions of out state agencies. Most
people have heard of the Freedom of Information act, well, this act was constructed so that the
people of a state could also access state agencies which are not affected under the Freedom of
Information Act that deals only with federal agencies. Under this law the average person has the
means to be his own investigator into the inner workings of state agencies. However, this does not
apply to private businesses or private organizations. The key thing to remember here is that they
must be state run agencies. This means that any citizen can find out anything on the was the
Tennessee Department of Correction, District Attorneys' Office or even the Tennessee Board of
Paroles work. Any agency.

Sound too good to be true? Well , there are some exceptions as to what you are allowed to
inspect. The amount of information that you are allowed to see is limited by the amount of
information stored on the subject you request. If the subject you want has to deal with an
individual's medical or mental health, concerns and ongoing criminal investigation or by the fact that
a claim is made by the state agency that the information contained therein is of such a delicate nature
that it would compromise the security of the agency or of that of the state it's self. Classified
documents are not open to public inspection. For example, the inner workings of the Oak Ridge
Nuclear Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, would not be allowed for public inspection. Nor would
the blueprints of a correctional institution. Basically, it's pretty easy to figure out what you can or
cannot have.

Don't let the fact that there are some things that you can not have discourage you. There is still
hope yet. If any agency decides that they don't want you to have it's sensitive material, and let's
face it, that's what we're after, they are required to notify you in writing of any reason why they
think you shouldn't have the material you have requested from them. Most agencies will have a
second recourse of action that you are allowed to take if your request is initially turned down. Like
an appeals process for that particular agency. Most are fairly simple in this respect, so don't give
up! There is no such thing as "no" when it comes this. Just different ways of getting what you need.
You're going to have to be sure that you follow any appeals or avenues of relief that are available to
you have been exhausted before you are allowed to go any further. This will be a necessity if you
are still not successful in obtaining the information that you desire and wish to pursue the matter any
further.

The fact that the state is not willing to oblige your request does not mean that you are out of
luck yet. That is exactly what they want you to think. The truth is that you have the right to bring
your request to the chancery court so that the court many decide for it's self whether or not you
request should be denied. Someone from outside the state agency is going to be a lot more open to
the idea that you have a right to the information you seek. The judge is not going to be as one sided
as the state would like for them to be. The only questions that he is really going to be concerned
with is if you used every option available to you before you brought the matter to his attention.
Don't give him a reason to throw your request out without being heard due to a technicality. You
have to remember that these agencies have rights, too. The better you make it look on your self,
and the more unreasonable you make them look, the easier the judge will be to deal with. More
often that not, you will be allowed to have the information that you seek if you follow these simple
instructions.

If there is information that you would like to request from a state agency, then try to contact
them. Or, if you would like, the UNOFRGIVEN offers you a second course of action. We can
customize a request for you that should cover everything you will need. That means we will give
you our undivided attention in your particular matter and do everything in our power to see that
your request is met. If you would like to know more about this request, please e-mail us and we
will further inform you of this service.

The Lost Boy